A TRAGIC teenager made a harrowing phone call to a pal screaming ‘I don’t know where I am’ moments before she was killed on a train track, an inquest heard.
Taiyah Peebles, 16, made the frantic call after becoming separated from her friends — but then the phone cut off, the hearing was told.
The teenager was found dead in between the tracks at Herne Bay railway station in Kent hours later.
The inquest heard she had stumbled onto the live rail and was electrocuted.
The tragedy happened on July 25th last year after Taiyah had been been out celebrating a friend’s birthday.
The hearing was told how the group were returning late in the evening on the train to Herne Bay from Whitstable, where Taiyah had been drinking beer and vodka at Westmeads recreation ground.
But after getting off the train at Herne Bay she is thought to have become disorientated and walked down the slope at the end of the platform before ending up on the tracks.
A post-mortem found her death had been caused by electrocution after she came into contact with the 750-volt live rail.
The pathologist said she would have been killed instantly.
Tests also revealed she had the equivalent of twice the legal drink driving limit of alcohol in her system, which the pathologist said would have caused her to be drunk.
Friends described her as being drunk on the night, but also happy.
During the journey home, Taiyah was said to have left her group to go to the front of the train to use the toilet, and became separated from them.
But two Gillingham football fans returning from a match and travelling in the front coach saw her in a drunken and apparently distressed state.
Ben Treacher, 16, told the inquest that Taiyah appeared unsteady on her feet and was crying in the toilet.
He told the inquest: ‘She came out on her hands and knees and seemed incapable of walking.
‘We asked her if she was alright and she said “yes”.’
He and his friend then helped her off the train and put her up against a fence at the back of the platform, where she then sat down.
Her friends left the train by another door further back and were not aware she was there, the inquest heard.
Among them was her boyfriend Adam Wilson, 16, who admitted they had fallen out earlier in the evening.
He told the inquest: ‘I think she had drunk some vodka and three or four Budweisers and she came across as drunk.
‘I recall her walking up the carriage.
‘I gave her a call outside the station, but she did not answer and I just thought she was still angry.’
Fighting back tears, he told the inquest how he had become increasingly worried when his calls continued to go unanswered throughout the evening and early hours.
The following morning, while walking home from a friend’s house where he had stayed the night, he saw emergency vehicles outside the station and then checked at Taiyah’s home to find she was not there.
He added: ‘I then got a call saying it was her on the line.’
The inquest was read a statement from Gemella Giles, who said she had received a voicemail message from Taiyah at 10.52pm in which she screamed ‘I don’t know where I am’ before the line cut off.
Taiyah, who attended Spires Academy in Canterbury and was due to start an art and design course at Canterbury College, was found between the rails, about 30metres from the end of the platform, with her shoulder touching the live conductor.
Det Con Lee Smith, of British Transport Police, said the available CCTV evidence did not point to anyone else being involved in her death, but it was unclear as to how she got on the track.
Recording that her death had been an accident, Assistant Coroner Ian Goldup said: ‘We don’t know how she came to be on the line, but she had phoned a friend saying she was lost and unable to help herself.
‘I shall be writing to Network Rail to bring this case to their attention.
‘I’ve had children who have returned home in a terrible state and it could so easily have been this platform.’
After the hearing, Taiyah’s mum Hayley said her daughter was only doing what other young people do.
She added: ‘I will make it my life’s mission to campaign for better safety at stations so no other family has to suffer like we have.’
A barrier has since been erected at the end of the platform at Herne Bay station.